Outdoor Field Sunset Photography with a Teen in Woodstock, GA

Figured I would take this outdoor field sunset photoshoot I did with my teen, in Woodstock, GA, to discuss a parenting technique I’ve found helpful…

Talking to your Preteen / Teenager: The Notebook Idea

It wasn’t my own idea, it was an older woman in the church who first told me about the conversation notebook. Although my kids are generally open and up front about their feelings, the point was to open a line of communication, should they struggle at some point.

It’s not just a matter of struggle to express themselves, it might be that I’m too busy to devote the time they need to full express themselves and they don’t want to wait.

I have 5 children and my attention is definitely divided among them.

The premise of the idea is simple…


Each child has their own notebook that they keep in their room.


It’s in a place where they feel it’s safe, but it’s in a place where I have access to it (I’ll get to that later).


The young adult can journal to you about anything. They can say anything they are thinking/feeling. A total non-judgement zone.


They leave the notebook on your bed where you’ll see it, read it, and respond once you get a chance.


What precious words your teenager has gifted you! They’ve shared their heart. I also like to take this opportunity to write down some words of encouragement for that child.


When you see growth, when you catch them doing something great, (be looking!) write it in their notebook. Place it on their bed for them to see/read it :)

The hope and the goal is to create a beautiful exchange of words that is now documented for years to come.

Your child WILL go back and read old entries and CRINGE. It’s funny to hear my kid’s tease themselves about what is/is not important to them anymore. They see personal growth in themselves. Also in their spelling/handwriting, and their ability to communicate needs/concerns they have about themselves, myself, and/or their life.

The notebook really is beneficial in so many ways.

Practicing the bravery required to have hard conversations.

Learning to communicate effectively (with time).

Learning the age old lesson of “nothing stays the same”

Tracking their personal progress or lack thereof.

Learning to trust themselves, their feeling/intuition and others (you).

Practicing writing. A truly lost art form in our new digital world.

Practicing patience, as I promise you there will be a time you won’t reply fast enough :)

Learning to extend forgiveness as you will surely fail them in some way, as we all do.

One of the greatest benefits I noticed was the feeling of independence and maturity they felt. They felt like they had freedom and power in their notebook.

They were seen as more than a child, but as a human.

If you try the notebook idea, let me know how it goes :) What a keepsake you are creating!

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